Monday, October 31, 2011


We are home from the most amazing vacation that I have ever been on. 

I am exhausted and have over 1,500 pictures to edit.  A few quick highlights with promises of more detailed posts later (there is a LOT I want to share)

  • All that worry about Gianna on the plane? She ROCKED IT! We had some serious air-travel related delays and she was so amazing. Both ways – total travel rock star.
  • Venice is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been.
  • People in Italy drive like maniacs.
  • The Amalfi Coast? Everyone should visit. Seriously.
  • Cruises are fun.  Except I ate so much that none of my clothes fit….
  • I still like all of my family members, even after spending 12 days traveling with them.
  • Being totally unplugged for that long? A little strange but mostly very freeing.  It was nice not to have the option of picking up my phone to distract me from all the amazing memories that were being made.
  • I actually took over 1,800 pictures. Only about 1,600 were good enough to keep.
  • Gianna walked through Pompeii, the Vatican and most of Florence. She was just so incredibly great the entire trip – she earned herself a Unicorn stuffed animal and a “real Barbie” – Rapunzel style.
  • Gelato. The end.
  • There is no way I can ever thank my mom and [step]dad for making such a trip a reality – seriously. love you both so much.

More travel recapping and pictures to come once I have gotten some more sleep.

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venice. october 2011

Saturday, October 29, 2011

She Said 3

at the grocery store, I stepped about 2 feet from her

G: Mommy! Come back here!

Me: I’m right here…

G: But you’re my friend!!

:: melt ::


comes to me with a runny nose


Me: okay, coming…..

G: I have a snot bubble…..

omg it was adorable. gross, but adorable.


Age 2 is full of hilarious, but I am drawing a blank on one of the other 89271 funny things she has said lately!


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Q&A–Are You Listening style

The first attempt at a Q & A brought to you by  my lack of ability to think on most days.

Rebecca wants to know:

do you think you can do the Disney thing once? Or more than once? What is the perfect age for that?

More than once, FOR SURE!  We took Gianna at two and it was beyond magical.  Seriously, Mike and I have been to Disney several times, but seeing it through your kids’ eyes? NOTHING BETTER.

We are already tentatively planning to head back, probably  in 2013 – G will be 4 and I am sure she will still love it just as much – and will be able to ride more rides!

If you are only going to go once, ever, I would have to say somewhere between 4 and 6 would probably be the best time.  They can walk, require less baggage, are more flexible to stay up late and go with the flow of the hustle and bustle of the parks but still young enough to BELIEVE in what they are seeing.  They will see the magic, and so will you as parents. 

My biggest advice though, is take your time – ESPECIALLY if you are only going once ever.  Make it a 7-10 day trip so you can enjoy the parks at your leisure and not feel like you are overwhelmed by all there is to see and do.  And stay on property, that is something we did for the first time and honestly – there was hardly any price difference compared to close, off property hotels and the convenience was priceless.

Farah wants to know:

how do you like the new job

I like it!  It is not ideal, or anything like that, but it is a good place to be right now.  The company is fabulous, the benefit are great, my boss is wonderful, my coworkers are only slightly irritating and there is plenty of room for growth within the company.  My actual job, is boring and not at all challenging, but I am good at it and hope that will help to propel me upwards in the company (they do a lot of internal promotion, which is fab).  The adjustment period is over, for the most part.  Some days are still exceptionally hard to leave the girl behind, Mike is doing a pretty good job being home with her – so I know she is good hands!  It’s pretty cool to come home and find out daddy made crafts! And dinner!

Alison wants to know:

how many states have you visited

  • Pennsylvania
  • Michigan
  • New York
  • California
  • North Carolina
  • South Carolina
  • Maryland
  • Florida
  • Texas
  • Illinois

I believe that is all, there is so much more I want to see!!


What else do you want to know? Ask away, serious, silly, whatever you want!


Sunday, October 23, 2011

She Says–take 2

Helping Aunt Krissy make dinner:

G: opens ‘fridge and takes out a pudding without Krissy seeing.

K: Gianna, what is that?

G: Jus a puddin’

K: Where did you get it from?

G: Ummmm, I dunno….. :: pause :: Can you help me open it…..please…..


talking to her daddy:

G: Let’s go to halloween

M: Where is that?

G: Right on Massillon Road….

M: Oh?

G: Ya, in the middle somewhere


listening to her music from dance class in the car:

G: OHHHHH! Mommy, did you see that song?

Me – ya…….


Again with Aunt Krissy, this time, in her room

G: sneaks a hershey kiss when no one was looking

K: Gianna, what do you have?

G: Nuffin…..

K: Where did you get that?

G: Somewhere….

K: How many of those did you eat?

G: Just some…..

OMG she is such a sneaker!


During an “argument” with my mom about putting her PJ’s on

Grandma: Gianna, it’s not nice to act that way

Gianna: I was just MOVING. (just imagine the sarcasm here)


Saturday, October 22, 2011

Reason #592172 G thinks her Papa is awesome

Papa lets her do whatever she wants.

:sitting on the edge of the hot tub and screaming for no good reason.


Friday, October 21, 2011

Greasy Hair be-gone

I usually only wash my hair every other night, sometimes every third night.  Mostly because I am busy – not so much because I SHOULD wait that long between hair washings.

You know that greasy look you get (okay, well, maybe YOU don’t, but I do!) on the day you MUST wash your hair? 

Salon Grafix Invisible Dry Spray Shampoo has cured that greasy-hair day!

I have heard of dry shampoo, know people that love it, but never tried it myself. 


The Salon Grafix Invisible Dry Shampoo quickly absorbs oily buildup, leaving a refreshed look by just spraying it in at the roots and brushing it out.  It is fantastic!

I tried to get a before and after picture, but it really didn’t do it justice – my hair FELT cleaner and looked so much better after using it. It is officially a staple in my incredibly limited hair-care routine.

You can pick up Salon Grafix products at their website: or in any major drug stores or retailer (Target! CVS! Rite Aid! etc.) – the Invisible Dry Spray Shampoo retails for about $7.99, a GREAT price!

Check out Salon Grafix on facebook too and join in the conversation on their various product lines etc.



Disclaimer: I received a sample of Salon Grafix Invisible Spray Shampoo for review, no other compensation was provided and the review is 100% my honest opinion.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Let Her Be Little

I was reading a (good) friends blog the other day, and I love that I am always learning new things about the people in my life. 

She was talking about her girls and some of the things that she wants to be important to them as they grow up – things other than princesses, beauty and sweatpants with the word princess stamped across the ass.

Clearly, we are princess-ed out in our house, and I am totally okay with that.  We play beauty shop, Gianna loves to “do makeup” with me when I get ready in the morning, she helps me pick out my clothes and my shoes, we do nails and Gianna ADORES anything that sparkles.

And for me, that is all okay.  I am pretty girly (are you surprised?)  One way to get me in a good mood or out of a bad one, is to wear a cute outfit or really fun shoes.  Because I enjoy that kind of stuff, it would be really hard not to portray that part of my personality or rather, reflect that, on to my child. 

I am constantly in search of new hair bows for her, new ways to do her hair, cute clothes, dress up outfits and/or accessories – because she enjoys those things as well.  If she didn’t like to be “girly”, I would still try to put bows in her hair, but I certainly would never push my desires on to her.

I am quickly learning to pick my battles as a mother.  Sometimes, she wants to wear her pajamas all day long, out of the house.  I just let her, because at least she has clothes on.  Many times she wants to wear her dress up shoes and a tutu all day long, and out of the house.  I just let her, because why not? If she asks me to “do her eyes” when I am getting ready in the morning, I pretend to put eye shadow on her and she uses my makeup brush to “do her face”.  It’s a fun little moment of childhood innocence we have in the morning.
What I don’t want – is for her to think fancy shoes, great makeup, painted nails and fashionable clothes are what make up a strong, successful woman.

I want her to see me as a strong, successful woman who has goals, priorities and happiness and gets to wear pretty shoes too.  I want her to love to learn, to continue her love for books and reading, to be expressive, strong and confident. 

Raising kids is a challenge like none other, raising a daughter is scary to me.  I want her to stay little and innocent forever, to love her princesses and her my little ponies and to cook in her kitchen and to adore caring for her baby dolls.  I pray that she never feels insecure, inadequate or incapable of achieving her [age appropriate] goals.

It totally freaks me out to think about her getting older, even starting Kindergarten – let alone as am older child or teenager.  Part of my job as her mom right now, is to teach her – to teach her about life in a way that she can understand.  Right now, that understanding comes in the form of fairy tales, stories and conversations in the bathroom while we get ready in the morning, and making sure she knows that while clothes and shoes and all of the pretties aren’t what defines a person.

I do all that I can to make sure she understands that behind the glasses, jewelry, pretty dress and fun shoes – her mom is a strong, smart, educated, loving, confident person – and that I want her to grow into that same kind of person.  A person who enjoys the pretty things in life just as much as learning, reading and growing with the people around her.

Any way you look at it, parenting is about love, about today, about letting them be little and free from the worries of budgets, gas prices adn work.  About smiles adn happiness.  The future, is so big and scary, but today? Well, that will be gone in the blink of an eye.  If Gianna wants to pretend to be a princess or a fairy or wear pretties wherever she goes, if she thinks her mommy is beautiful and her daddy is her hero, if we laugh, give ridiculous amounts of hugs & kisses and i love yous, then that's all that really matters to me. 

But for the moment, it's about letting her be little.andreasignature2

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

UPrinting Stickers WINNER!

We have a winner of the short, and not all that popular, Uprinting stickers giveaway!


Comment #3 is Jen!


Look for your free stickers in your mailbox, my friend!


Wordless Wednesday


Awww… look at that little tiny baby punkin

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Friday Night Leftovers

  • I got my very first new car this past weekend.  The one thing I will miss about my old car? The gas mileage, for someone who drives 60 miles a day, that was kind of a big deal.  I still get good mileage, just not AS good.
  • It has been a busy, but productive week. I am so thankful it’s friday – tomorrow I am getting my hair cut, eye brows waxed, a pedicure and a shellac manicure.  GIRL TIME!!
  • The Big Bang Theory is seriously such a damn funny show.  I laugh so hard every time I watch it.
  • The iPhone is a fun new toy.  I need to get a case for it though, any suggestions of something not too bulky?
  • The preschool hunt has begun – I can’t even believe that I just typed that. 
  • things have been BUSY on this old blog – lots of giveaways and reviews and fun things going on.  don’t forget to check out the UPrinting giveaway – it ends on the 18th!
  • Had my SIS this week, as expected, all looks okay – small amount of scar tissue but nothing of concern.  I feel better knowing and ready to get on with the process!
  • Tried a salted caramel mocha from Sbux this week – omg it was way better than expected!
  • I wish we could effectively meal plan – with all 3 of us being home for dinner maybe 1 night a week, it doesn’t usually work too well.  Our grocery budget needs some serious work.
  • Once we get back from vacation, Dave Ramsey method is going into full force – I think (know) it will cut out a lot of the unnecessary spending.
  • My face is broken out like a teenage girl. It is freaking insane. And annoying.
  • the midsection fluffy-ness is getting out of control, must work on that as well.
  • Go check out Danifred and the other leftover-ers!


Stickers! A Quick Giveaway from

I am always on the lookout for new products that I can use in my Premier Designs jewelry business or in our new DJ business.  I have my go-to printing sites, but again, I am always on the lookout for new, better products.
That is where comes in – they are one of the most versatile online Printing Companies with tons of great products – including Stickers.
I personally use stickers on my catalogs, customer communications and other items that may be seen my many people. offers customizable and Personalized Stickers to meet your needs.
I am pretty excited about these, because even if you don’t have a small business, wouldn’t these be great for holiday cards, thank you cards, to use as gift tags – the possibilities are endless!
Uprinting is offering up 250 Personalized Stickers for One (1) WINNER!  Stickers are 2” x 3.5”, 70lb Label Matte - over $40 value.

How do you win -
Leave me a comment telling me what you would do with your stickers!
I think I am going to order some stickers to use for the DJ biz – or maybe as gift tags……
Giveaway is open until Tuesday October 18th 11:59pm. so get your comments in now! Open to US Residents 18 years and older.  Winner will be chosen  using – make sure I have a way to contact you if you won!

**Disclaimer: This giveaway is sponsored by UPrinting, no monetary compensation was given and I received a set of stickers for hosting.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

My Memories Winner–Take 2

My original winner for the My Memories package never came through soooo – are you the new winner??



Margaret C said...

I like My Memories on Facebook.


Please leave a comment with your email address ASAP so we can get your prize to you!


Getting a little Woozie

Do you like wine?  I do. A lot.

I also like accessories. And why shouldn’t wine be accessorized?

I was so excited (like really, super excited) when the awesome people over at Woozie reached out to me. 

They make all kinds of great products, but the best one of all – an insulated wine koozie – a Woozie! 


There are many different Woozie collections – some for the holidays, safari Woozies, monogrammed Woozies and many more.  There are also great acrylic serving trays and  bottle stoppers – that way all of your wine accessories will match!

Woozie was featured on NBC News’ TODAY with Katie Lee & Hoda – see:

Imagine my excitement when this box came with all of these great wine accessories.

So let me tell you how I got a little Woozie!


Naturally, I grabbed some wine. (have you had chocowine? no? TRY IT!)


And placed the Woozie bottle bag over top of it.


then I took the glass, and filled it up with wine.


Then dressed it up with my awesome zebra print monogram Woozie!

DSC_0649DSC_0650DSC_0651 - the draw string keeps the Woozie in place and controls the temperature of my chocowine (which should be cold! and it was until the glass was empty!)

Look how pretty they are? Notice the fabulous wine stopper? Also a Woozie product!


Now it’s time to get Woozie.


Be sure to visit the Woozie Facebook page – you never know what kind of new goodies, sales or other fun things will be going on over there!

I know a lot of my holiday gifts are already covered now – all of my wine loving friends and family are going to be getting Woozie with me!



*products and video clip provided to me by Woozie as compensation – all opinions are 100% my own*

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A letter to my daughter: your 3rd half-birthday

Dear Gianna -

I can not even begin to wrap my mind around the fact that today you are 2 and a half years old. I have no idea where the time has gone and can not believe how quickly you have gone from a baby who needed me for everything to such an independent toddler.

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HI!!! Friends, come in to my house!

You are a social butterfly, everywhere we go you ask where your friends are and deem anyone who will look your direction as a friend.  I hope you keep this quality for the rest of your life, it’s an invaluable quality.

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dancing away with one of her best girlfriends.

Of course you love to dance still, dance class has been so fun for you and for me!  You love to practice your moves and it is so fun to watch you learn and grow with each class.  Other things you love right now – coloring, the library, being outside for any reason, shoes and picking out your own clothes, playing dress up, doing mine and daddy’s hair, brushing your teeth, getting your nails painted, going to grandma and papa’s house and just pretending – your imagination is always working!  Along with dancing, you have taken to singing a lot and that is quite hysterical – especially because you often say you are singing like Ariel!

Since you started laughing at a few months old, there weren’t too many times that you really LAUGHED.  That has all changed as you get older – your laugh is infectious and paired with those bright eyes – it’s enough to turn any bad day into a pretty fantastic one.  Listening to you laugh makes my heart happy.  Almost as happy as when you say “I lob you mommy” or blow me kisses on my way out the door in the morning.

Being your mom keeps getting better and better – we have conversations about how our days went, we play together and laugh together – girl talk and girl time has officially started in this house and I love every minute of it.  Everyday isn’t easy, you love to express your opinion on everything in your life – good or bad.  You use your manners, help with chores around the house and do so many things that I can’t even begin to list them all – it is truly amazing all that you know, say and do.


You are my tiny dancer, my smallest best friend, my chipper little parrot, my fashionista; I love you more than words, pretty girl. 

love you until forever,


Sunday, October 9, 2011

Who is #1?

I am on a local message board and someone posted about a recent T.oday Show segment that talked about marriage and basically about how priorities have shifted in today’s society.

The poll question and responses that made me think the most was this one:

Who is your number one priority?

  • Spouse/Significant Other
  • Child(ren)
  • Career
  • Yourself

My answer – my husband/marriage is my number one priority.

When I was answering, I looked at it from a relational standpoint – not from the standpoint of how my energy/actions are divided.

Let me explain my thinking here -

I don’t put a whole ton of energy into myself – I should probably, but I don’t.  (don’t most adult women feel this way – regardless if they have children?!)  I do work on my relationship with myself, maybe not as much as I should sometimes, but enough that I know I am pretty happy and capable of effectively working on my other relationships.

I put a lot of energy into my career – both my new job and my career within Premier – I enjoy those things.  I really enjoy working, I feel accomplished and dependable and all that jazz.  It’s not my highest priority in life, but it is pretty important.  One of the points that was brought up was that some day marriage might end, children will grow up and move out and then what is left? Yourself and any career that you have established.  I completely see that point – but maybe to me it’s a pretty obvious point – not one that requires much more conscious effort or higher prioritizing.

I devote many hours, a lot of energy and love to my daughter. I ADORE being a mother with every fiber of my being.  Caring for her takes the most energy/time of my day, which makes it pretty logical that children was the most popular *top priority'* answer on our poll.  Again, this makes sense, because most of us have small children and they for SURE require our energy and attention the majority of the time. Being a mom is fun, hard as hell sometimes, but not necessarily my top overall priority – she is a CLOSE second – that is for sure.

My marriage, on the other hand, THAT is my top priority in life.  Here’s how I look at it – and this has not always been true for me – if my marriage isn’t happy, then my family isn’t happy and I am not a happy individual or a happy mother or a happy employee.  Honestly. It is THE BIGGEST part of my life. My husband is my bestest friend (if you don’t count my sisters) in the whole wide world, I love him the most (yes, more than my child) and put the most effort/energy into keeping our relationship happy and healthy.  Does it always require *that much* energy/effort? No.  But sometimes it does. And we have experienced the damaging effects when our relationship gets pushed to the bottom of the priority list.

Those damaging effects, the heartache and frustration, those are things that I will go to the ends of the earth to keep from ever happening again. [because they REALLY effect the ENTIRE rest of life – no matter how hard you try for them not too] 

Keeping my husband at the forefront of my priority list is just so important to me.  Is it easy to do all the time? OMG NO, not at all. Do I succeed 100% of the time? Hell to the no. But I try. And get better at it all the time (or at least I hope I do…)  I want to have a marriage that my child(ren) hope for one day – one that is happy, balanced, filled with love but not a stranger to ups and downs.

I really do believe that God gave me Mike for the ups and downs – that has never been so evident to me than in the past few months and I am so thankful that we made it back to the up.

What do you think? How do you prioritize your relationships? I would so love to hear your thoughts!


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

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Cowgirl in her Jammies

a sequel to Naked Cowgirl – the toddler version


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Where are my friends?

We took Gianna to see Disney on Ice this past weekend.

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In bribing her to behave that morning explaining to her where we were going Mike showed her some YouTube clips and she got SO EXCITED!

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As we were waiting, she got Tinkerbelle all settled in and ready for the show.  She asked me “Where are my friends at, Mommy?”

I said, what friends, G?  To which she boldly responded “The PRINCESSES!!” Me: Oh, well me and daddy and grandma are here….” She eventually decided that we would do for the night!

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She then got herself settled in and when Mickey and Minnie came out? She could hardly contain herself!

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Totally mesmerized the whole time.  She rarely sits that still for any reason, so this was huge!

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We got her to smile for a picture, eventually when my mom made some goofy comment!

I can see that taking her to the princesses on ice in the winter is going to be a must, can’t keep a girl from her friends afterall!


Monday, October 3, 2011


I saw a different doctor in the OB/GYN practice I go to last week. 

He talked to me with my clothes on, which was fantastic, about what has been going and what we can do next.

We decided to go ahead and run a repeat loss panel (blood work) and schedule a saline ultrasound to make sure there isn’t anything inappropriately growing in my uterus.

He also agreed to starting Progesterone suppositories with the next positive pregnancy test.  Or, more likely 5-7 days before expected CD1.

The ultrasound will be this week, I need to call and get it scheduled tomorrow since CD14 is Friday.  I’ll pick the progesterone up so I have it on hand probably next week

The appointment went exactly how I hoped that it would, I feel satisfied with things for the moment and will keep on keeping on until at least January.  We don’t have any IF coverage, should it come to that, so it’s not a road I care to travel down without just cause and exhaustion of every available resource. 

I am just praying for strength, for guidance, for acceptance and for a healthy baby to join our family sooner than later.  I am so thankful for my happy little family, but the whole just-beyond-my-reach feeling I have going on right now in regards to adding to our family has been a little overwhelming this week. 

Speaking of thankfulness, I am SO thankful for all of YOU – again, your comments/emails/tweets are so encouraging and uplifting.  And thankful for an understanding family and friends.  Support makes the tough things in life that much easier to digest.


Sunday, October 2, 2011

My Memories Suite - WINNER!!!

To everyone who entered to win the awesome My Memories digital software – the time has come to find out the winner!



Sarah – with comment #14: “My favorite is Cool in the Pool – love the bright colors”

Sarah – get in touch with me ASAP so we can get you your software!!!

For everyone else:

Enter code STMMMS36912  at checkout for $10 off software and $10 off at the store!